Abu Dhabi: Pakistan's ambassador in the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday said he was using his contacts to convince India to resume bilateral ties with his country and hopes for a breakthrough next year.
India froze all bilateral ties with Pakistan in the wake of terrorist attacks on their commercial hub Mumbai in November 2008, which New Delhi blamed on militants based in Pakistan.
But despite a recent thaw, with Pakistan declaring India "the most favoured nation" and both prime ministers vowing to improve ties during their meeting at the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) conference late last year, the ties remain suspended.
India refused to send its team to Pakistan for a scheduled tour a month after the Mumbai attacks.
The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Zaka Ashraf, had also vowed to revive ties but has not received a positive reply from the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
Despite tempered optimism, Pakistan's ambassador in the UAE, Jamil Ahmed Khan, said he was using his position to raise support for a series between the countries here.
"I am in regular contact with the Indian ambassador (Kapanaiah Lokesh) here and he has also talked to his government in New Delhi to convince them to play here in the Gulf," Khan told reporters.
A PCB official on Monday said in Lahore that there was no possibility of a resumption of ties this year.
India beat Pakistan in a high-profile World Cup semi-final in Mohali in March last year and are due to face each other in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh in March this year.
Khan said a Pakistan-India series is the most sought-after by fans around the world.
"If Pakistan and India play here it would be a big thing for not only people living here but also for the people around the world. I think 2013 could be the breakthrough because everyone is trying for it," said Khan, who had also worked for United Nations.
Khan said interest in cricket was also developing among UAE locals.
"The locals here are also taking more interest in cricket since Pakistan is playing here and the image of the game as well as that of the Pakistan cricket team is also improving in the Gulf," said Khan.